Heavy rainfall leaves many area farm fields underwater

Published: May. 19, 2020 at 4:07 PM EDT
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Heavy rains over the last couple of days around the region have made for a lot of water-logged farm fields. Many fields in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan have several inches of standing water in all or part of them. Some of them even look more like lakes right now.

It's a different problem than last May, when large amounts of rain delayed planting season for farmers. This year, most of the crops were able to be planted in May, but all the standing water can quickly become a problem.

"Every plant needs oxygen and the longer it is underwater, the more apt it is to not make it," Randy Hill, who works the Ottawa Lake Co-Op and farms, said. "Everybody says when will we have a normal year, and I guess I don't know what normal is anymore. It is always a challenge. All the water makes you nervous. but things can quickly turn around."

The Ottawa Lake Co-Op works with hundreds of farmers in Michigan and Ohio. Jason Heerdegen, manager of the co-op who is also farmer, says people may not realize there can be different rain totals in the same field.

"We have data and apps that can track the rainfall totals at farms. It is amazing how just a mile or even half a mile can make a big difference," Heerdegen said. "Most farmers deal with this kind of blow every year, you just have to learn to work with it."

The warmer and drier weather expected in the coming days will certainly be beneficial for all the local fields.